When my mother cloth diapered us, it wasn’t the most popular mainstream thing to do. Actually it was somewhat looked down upon as “hippy” or “Weird”. In 20 plus years the times have changed. Since I made the switch to cloth diapers I have met more people who cloth diaper and follow the same eco-friendly ways. In my endless nights awake, I stumbled up a blog post about cloth diaper calculation. Move it Forward Everyday had actually done a really good calculation comparison between disposable diapers and cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers can be expensive or very inexpensive depending on what you get. For my husband and I, it was always about the cost savings, so I didn’t really care what the diapers look like (yes there are some really cute ones), I only cared about function. So we sat down recently and calculated how much money we have saved using cloth diapers.
Before we started we were spending on average $54 on Luvs (using Amazon Mom and Subscribe & Save) for both my children a month. When we first started we purchased cheap diapers from china on eBay. These diapers work great, but are cheaply made and in my opinion do not last long. For us it was more about not spending a lot of money on cloth diapers not knowing if our lifestyle would accommodate all the extra washing and taking care of the messy diapers. Purchasing cheap diapers allowed us to save up money to purchase better quality diapers as money permitted. After about 3 months of cloth diapers we had enough money to purchase better diapers and a full stash. We purchased 24 brand new cloth diapers for $135. October is a year, and we have saved at least $500. This amount includes deduction for purchase of cloth diapers, and additional $5 per month in water bill. This amount does not include the resale value of the diapers.
Now I know how addicting it can be to purchase all the cute prints or colors, but we decided to cloth diaper to save money. I was not going to get addicted to purchasing a large stash. The 24 diapers lasted us 2 days with 2 in children. This amount will vary from family to family (my youngest was 6 months old when I started). Keeping that in mind has really made our savings even more.
So what if you don’t have the extra money for a full stash? There are many different ways to get a starter stash for even pennies.
- Use old t-shirts/sweatshirts (buy baby safety pins to hold together)
- Use flannel receiving blankets (use baby safety pins to hold together)
- Make your own (Joannes, eBay, Hobby Lobby, Hancocks all sell the supplies to make them)
- Buy used via facebook, eBay. craigslist
- Buy on eBay
- Prefolds and Covers are extremely inexpensive
There are a ton of videos on Youtube on how to sew cloth diapers, how to fold cloth diapers, and so much more information.
Personally, when we we started we didn’t have a full stash. We figured out how much each disposable diaper cost us and for every cloth diaper we used we saved double the amount of the cloth diaper. We also took that time to calculate an average amount of diapers we used per day. Once we had enough for both for 2-3 days we purchased our full stash.
To save an extra $12 a month on wipes, we slowly moved to cloth wipes. We were already doing the laundry for the diapers, it wasn’t anything to add the wipes. We don’t do anything special, just wet with water and use.